And I will try to be as quick as I can, Mr. Chairman.
As you said, my name is Catrina Tapley. I am the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic and Program Policy at Citizenship and Immigration Canada. With me today is Dawn Edlund, the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of Operations at Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Deborah Tunis, the Director General of Integration, and Wally Boxhill, the Director of Integration and Resettlement Program Delivery.
We're pleased to be here today to discuss settlement funding. Settlement funds are used for programs and services that help address newcomers' immediate settlement needs, that support their integration into Canadian society. These include language training, information and referrals, help finding employment that matches a newcomer's skills and education, and help establishing networks and contacts in their communities.
Our funding decisions are based on meeting immigrants' needs, responsible spending, and fairness. It's important to remember that since 2006 the government has more than tripled funding for settlement services across Canada. As the committee is aware, for 2011-12 the government made a decision to reduce settlement funding by about $53 million from the national allocations outside Quebec. Despite these reductions outside Quebec, the settlement sector remains well funded. The total funding envelope for 2011-12 is over $600 million. In Ontario alone, funding has increased from $111 million in 2005-06 to $346.5 million in 2011-12. As a result of this federal spending, there has been a tremendous expansion in the availability and range of settlement services in Ontario, as well as in Toronto.
Mr. Chair, CIC funds services for newcomers where there are demonstrated needs. The level of settlement funding allocation is based on where immigrants land, and reflects changes in immigrant settlement patterns. CIC strives to ensure that funding is allocated fairly to the provinces and territories where immigrants settle. After all, it is only fair and reasonable that newcomers have access to settlement services where they live.
Three provinces will see a reduction in settlement funding for this year, with the bulk of reductions being felt in Ontario. This is because we are moving to include Ontario in the national formula for settlement funding for the first time. This is an opportunity to move toward the principle of national fairness in funding.
In the past five years, Ontario has received 63% of the funding, even though it received only 55% of the immigrants arriving in Canada outside Quebec. If the situation were to remain the same, Ontario would have received $1,000 more per immigrant than the provinces and territories outside Quebec. For that reason, starting with this fiscal year, we are going to include Ontario in the per-immigrant formula that already applies to other provinces and territories outside Quebec.
In recent years, immigrant settlement patterns have shifted. While Ontario's share of immigrant intake has declined, other provinces have seen an increase in their share of immigrant intake. As a result, some provinces--namely, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan--will have an increase in their settlement funding allocations.
We've also seen a shift in settlement patterns within provinces. For example, over the last five years, the number of immigrants arriving in Toronto has decreased by 30%. Immigrants arriving in Ontario are settling in smaller communities such as the York region. To reflect these changes, CIC is also shifting where it funds settlement services intra-provincially to better serve immigrants.
This means expanding services in regions where newcomers are settling, such as the 905 region in the greater Toronto area. For example, the York region has benefited from a tenfold increase since 2005-06. Between the current fiscal year and 2011-12, the coming fiscal year, there will be an increase of 43%. This is because statistics show that there has been an increasing number of newcomers settling in York. This also means that funding will be adjusted for services within the City of Toronto to reflect declining landings.
Given this shift in where newcomers are settling, realigning funding across the country is the responsible thing to do, and it will allow us to achieve fairness across Canada. In recent years, CIC has moved towards using a call for proposals process for funding decisions of this nature.
Last spring, CIC issued a call for proposals process across Ontario to establish settlement service delivery for the 2011-12 fiscal year under the framework of our new approach to the delivery of our settlement program. What this means is that any settlement service provider organization in Ontario had the opportunity to submit proposals. This is a merit-based, competitive process, and all proposals were assessed in a fair and consistent manner.
CIC employees organized information and dissemination sessions for service providers. These sessions covered both the new method of implementing our settlement program and the call for proposals process. The topic was also explained in detail on the settlement website, where the process was explained, and the deadline for submitting applications was given, as were the eligibility criteria and the activity components that could be funded.
In evaluating the proposals received, our criteria included whether an organization demonstrated that it addresses service needs and programming priorities, that it has strong governance and financial management practices, and that it offers value for money. In addition, we took into account an organization's capacity to meet the terms of the contribution agreement, including appropriate financial accountability.
Funding proposals were approved only after a thorough analysis to ensure the best value for our dollar could be obtained. In early December 2010, the department communicated with all organizations that submitted proposals to provide them with formal notice of whether their proposal was successful or not.
For organizations that we are currently funding but were unsuccessful in the call for proposals process, we provided them with about four months' notice that CIC's funding would come to a conclusion on March 31, 2011. This provided them with time to work with CIC in order to wind down their operations.
Eighty per cent of organizations that are currently funded in Ontario will have a new agreement in place so they can continue to provide services in 2011-12. Regrettably, for a small percentage of organizations, the department will not be providing settlement funding for the upcoming fiscal year.
The call for proposals is a merit-based process, and while some organizations may have received funding from CIC over a significant period of time, this does not mean that new funding is automatically granted and will continue indefinitely. This is a message that departmental officials have been sending to the settlement sector for over two years.
This means that, through the call for proposals process, and as of April 2011, new agencies will offer settlement services funded by CIC, while agencies that have been providing services for years will no longer receive funding.
To minimize transition burdens on service provider organizations and newcomers, CIC has worked and will continue to work closely with the organizations that were unsuccessful in the call for proposals process. Our goal is to ensure that services are wound down in an appropriate fashion and that the impact on newcomers' needs is minimized.
As for the organizations that were successful, CIC is currently negotiating contribution agreements. These organizations submitted strong proposals that address service needs and programming priorities, have strong governance and financial management practices, and demonstrate value for money.
In negotiating and managing all contribution agreements, CIC will continue to ensure that public funding is spent appropriately and efficiently, that there is value for the money we spend, that there are strong accountability and performance oversights in place, and that we deliver high-quality services to newcomers efficiently.
We are now open to answering all the questions of the honourable members of the committee.